eKitabu Monthly Newsletter September 2023 - Nairobi International Book Fair
September 26, 2023
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Dear Friends,We are pleased to share with you the press release that we are shipping today to friends and colleagues on the continent and the wider publishing community with the Kenya Publishers Association and the African Publishers Network. We welcome your feedback, questions, and ideas. Please do join us @NIBF 2023 if you are here in Kenya—karibuni sana sana! And feel free to spread the news in your networks. Something new is happening here and now.

For Immediate Release:

Moving African Content: Rights trading in African content at the Nairobi International Book Fair for the first time

eKitabu, in partnership with the Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) and the African Publishers Network (APNET), will for the first time bring together rights professionals and editors from across the African continent and around the world to build a content market at the Nairobi International Book Fair (NIBF).

Taking place from September 27 to October 1 at the Sarit Expo Centre in Nairobi, the Rights Café @NIBF 2023 will focus on publishing, trading, and translation rights. African publishing rights professionals from Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda will be there to meet with each other and their counterparts from Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, the UK, and USA.

With increasing global focus on African writing, this new initiative aims to open networks on the continent and to get African writing into more readers' hands across African countries and globally.

The Rights Café will be a new, dedicated space for business-to-business rights discussions with NIBF Ambassadors. NIBF Ambassadors are rights buyers drawn from publishing houses in Africa and the rest of the world. Featured activities will include panel discussions on trends in African literature, how to strengthen rights trading for African writers, as well as fireside chats with authors. The Rights Café will also feature innovative speed-dating sessions with buyers and sellers.

NIBF brings together publishing professionals, authors, and readers from the continent and around the world. The Fair will feature activities that spotlight reading, writing, and the love of language and culture in African communities. In coming years, NIBF will build on this concept that includes showcasing the best literature from the continent as well as developing rights exchanges, enabling publishers to grow their relationships in the continent’s dynamic literary scene.

Kiarie Kamau, the chairman of Kenya Publishers Association and CEO of East African Educational Publishers explained that the business of buying and selling rights has been largely unexplored in the African market. “African books are still not well known beyond our borders. KPA is excited to see NIBF uplifted, providing a home for engagement and opportunities for publishers to showcase new and existing content from Africa, with the goal of building the market and moving books around the globe.”

Lawrence Njagi, the chairman of APNET and Managing Director of Mountain Top Publishers shared: “@NIBF 2023, publishing professionals and the public will come together for intra-Africa trade fulfilling the Government of Kenya's vision for business in Africa and with Africans.”

Valeria Paolini, the NIBF Ambassador from Italy said: “As a translator, I will be aiming not only at straightforward rights sales but also at building up a list of books for proposals to selected publishers, which is why I'm looking at specific books in addition to broad spectrum genres and publishers. For this purpose, coming to agreements with rights holders at NIBF will be crucial.”

From Uganda, Goretti Kyomuhendo had this to say: “It's wonderful to be one of the first Nairobi International Book Fair Ambassadors! I’m excited to build relationships and knowledge and share my own experiences as an African writer and publisher with new friends in the African publishing community.”

“I am very eager to connect with other participants at NIBF,” observed Raphaël Thierry, the NIBF Ambassador from France. “As the rights representative of Présence Africaine Publishing, the oldest and most internationally recognized publishing house, specializing in African literature and African thought since its establishment in 1949, I am keen to establish new connections in the continent’s publishing community.”

Mary Maina, chair of KPA’s NIBF Committee and Managing Director of Moran (E.A.) Publishers said: “NIBF 2023 is the ideal destination for individuals seeking exclusive deals on print and digital books. NIBF offers numerous opportunities with publishers as well as authors, editors, illustrators, printers, and booksellers. Attendees can look forward to a fun-filled experience packed with learning and interaction alongside business associates and beloved local and international authors.”

Mercy Kirui, Senior Manager, Content in eKitabu shared: “The inaugural Rights Café @NIBF will be a new wellspring in African publishing. We welcome publishers and literary agents to join us in the Rights Café to meet with NIBF Ambassadors who are coming to build relationships and buy rights for books. The Rights Café @NIBF will run for three days: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.”

Notes to Editors

About eKitabu: eKitabu delivers accessible content, software, and programs for the inclusive love of learning. eKitabu is a Kenyan, Rwandan, and Malawian company headquartered in Nairobi. Since founding in 2012, eKitabu has brought digital content to 14 African countries and all 47 counties of Kenya. eKitabu collaborates with leading publishers in Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and globally. With innovations such as Studio KSL’s Digital Story Time that reached 12 million viewers per week in 2022, eKitabu creates with people and communities.

About NIBF: The 24th Nairobi International Book Fair is the regional marketplace for books bringing together publishing professionals, authors, booksellers, print suppliers, media, and readers from Africa and around the world. Organised by the Kenya Publishers Association, it has grown to be one of the leading book exhibitions in the region since it was first hosted in 1996. The Fair’s theme in 2023 is “Nurturing Talent Through Publishing.”

The NIBF 2023 Ambassadors are:
Asare Konadu Yamoah – Adaex Educational Publications Ltd, Ghana
Bieke van Aggelen – African Literary Agency, Netherlands
Goretti Kyomuhendo – African Writers Trust, Uganda
Jessica Powers – Catalyst Press, USA
Molly Slight – Scribe Publishing, UK
Maureen Masamba – Dzuka Publishing Company Limited, Malawi
Mutesi Gasana – Ubuntu Publishers, Rwanda
Olivia Snaije – Publishing Perspectives/The African Report
Raphaël Thierry – Ægitna Literary Agency, France
Samuel Kolawale – University Press, PLC, Nigeria
Stefanie Hirsbrunner – InterKontinental, Germany
Valeria Paolini – Horizons Project, Italy

For further information contact:
Amon Bett, Digital Media Manager, eKitabu

Warmest regards,

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